- What was the process used to determine the 2019-2020 budget?
The proposed annual budget (also called a spending plan) was the product of a collaborative conversation between the stewardship committee, business administrator, staff, elders, and deacons. The ministry budgets, in particular, were submitted by the church staff. The budget is an assessment of historical giving as well as historical expenditures. In February, the elders and deacons in a joint session approved the budget to go before the congregation at our annual meetings. A fuller description of the process is included on the congregational budget sheet.
- Why are we calling this a “vision” budget? What is “vision”?
A “vision” for ministry is nothing more than an answer to the question, “Where are we going as a church?” One way to answer this question is to ask the individual pastors and directors to communicate their desires for the future ministry at Metropolitan in the coming fiscal year. Thus, we felt it appropriate to emphasize how the ministry of MBC will be fulfilled in this next year through the proposed vision budget.
- Why did the ministry budgets increase from last year?
In reality, the ministry budgets were restored to what they were under previous budgets. The increase reflects the elimination of spending controls previously imposed because of the existence of spending deficits largely contributed by our building campaign. Also, all parties involved in the submission of this budget felt it inappropriate and shortsighted to hamstring ministries if we are to fulfill the Great Commission at MBC.
- What is the budget that the congregation is being asked to approve?
The proposed budget is $1,326,200 with a potential shortfall of $77,745 in the salaries, benefits, and contracts category. This shortfall is rather small, however, in comparison to what was given last year to eliminate the Forward in Faith debt. This provides reason for optimism going into the new fiscal year.
- With the proposed shortfall in this category, does this mean we will have to eliminate staff?
The finance committee, with the elders, is committed to an ongoing monitoring of the church expenses. Should adjustments to the salaries, benefits, and contracts category of the budget be necessary, these adjustments will be made. That said, no decisions regarding exactly what adjustments will be needed have been made. Collectively, we are optimistic that these adjustments will not be necessary.
- Can Metropolitan make payroll for the foreseeable future?
We are grateful that Metropolitan has never missed payroll, and the Lord has shown Himself faithful to meet the financial commitments.
- In the last few years, the ministry fund has seen a deficit in expenditures and income. How is this being addressed?
Indeed, we have seen in a deficit in our ministry fund. This fact is not lost on any party in the church. However, this deficit must also be seen in relation to the Forward in Faith building campaign to pay off our new children’s facility. When we consider this in addition to the other transitions in the church (i.e., a new senior pastor), we feel it is financially prudent to demonstrate patience in our financial situation.
- What level of support per individual/family is expected based on current attendance and expense levels?
This is an impossible question for any financial board, pastor, elder, etc. to answer. We would be presumptuous upon the role of the Holy Spirit should we directly answer this. We do, however, urge all to remember that giving to Metropolitan implies a financial partnership of the gospel, and generosity is a mark of what it means to be a faithful believer in Christ.
- What happens if there continues to be a deficit in our ministry fund?
While this is somewhat uncomfortable, we are ethically required to make the necessary financial adjustments. In other words, we will not continue to go into debt to ourselves. Metropolitan has cash reserves, but this cash is largely spoken for in various designated accounts. Fiduciary responsibility is required of the spiritual leaders of our church. We ask you to pray for our financial needs as well as wisdom for our leadership.
- Whom should we ask if we have further questions?
You are welcome to send further questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Kirsten Walsted will monitor this email account and will forward questions to the finance committee. This FAQs document can be amended to include these questions and their respective responses.
–Pastor John Frawley